A specialist falls and bones health service is available to assess anyone in Bucks who may have had a fall in the last 12 months and hopefully stop them from suffering similar accidents in the future – with a particular emphasis on helping the elderly.
The Buckinghamshire Integrated Falls and Bones Health Service, provided by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and supported by Buckinghamshire County Council, can be accessed through GP referral or by simply calling to arrange an assessment yourself.
It aims to cut the risk of patients experiencing further falls by providing specialist assessment and support, and teaching exercise and balance techniques. It can also offer equipment and mobility aides as appropriate and aims to build patient confidence in leading a more independent life.
After an initial telephone assessment, patients can be booked in for an appointment with a nurse, physiotherapist or occupational therapist as appropriate. Further actions may then see them, for example, recommended to go for further medical investigation and/or prescribed home exercise classes or even countrywide group classes which aim to improve their sense of balance. The service can also advise on ways and implement plans to reduce the risk of future falls.
Patients who have used the service so far have said:
- “Balance and confidence exercises have been most effective and hope to improve in the future and attend further exercise programmes.”
- “If this course helps me to avoid just one more broken bone or falls then it will have been very worthwhile.”
Excluded from the service are those unable to understand and retain instruction, those with neurological conditions requiring specialist intervention and those in end of life care, as the IFBHS is unlikely to be able to offer appropriate support to them. Such cases can, however, be considered on an individual basis.
The service operates across the county and can see patients at clinics in various locations across Bucks and also in their own homes. It runs Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm
Patients can be referred by GPs and healthcare professionals, but they can also make telephone assessment appointments for themselves – to do so, call 01494 426868 or 0844 2252403.